This Week in Milford

September 29, 2021

Sympathy for the Waning Moon

Time for the annual f-t-f pissing match between Gil and Marty. Marty asks a legit question of Gil and gets a pissy backhanded insult in return. Sure, Gil wins this one on paper, but come game time he might be singing a different tune.

Marty is absolutely not wrong in putting this question to Gil. Thorp started running his Delaware Wing-T again last season, and is still running it this season. He’s surprising exactly nobody with it. There are a plethora of YouTube videos on how to defend against the Wing-T, many of them quite lengthy. Here’s one of the briefest for your perusal.

A team that is regularly exposed to a Wing-T offense (as Kettering supposedly has been) will be better prepared to defend against it, even if it is “a little different,” as Gil claims. In this case “a little different” looks like it’ll translate into “a passing game where our receivers don’t look the ball into their hands.”

Kettering was a Detroit high school in a very tough neighborhood. It was closed about ten years ago due to declining attendance, a crumbling physical plant, low academic performance, and gang activity. The former Kettering site, first re-imagined as an urban farm, is now going to become a manufacturing plant for an auto parts supplier. As a shout-out to a Detroit long past, how will Rubin reimagine the Kettering team? Urban tough guys or something else?

In the grander scheme of things, we can see Marty becoming ever more irrelevant on the Mudlark sports reporting scene. Heather’s quick thumbs can spew out tweets as fast as he can call play-by-play, providing the analysis in real time that he might otherwise have to do between snaps. Having also been Gil’s protégé, Heather has the inside line to locker room scoops that Marty never will. Since he’s lost the journalistic high ground, Marty should have free reign to wallow deeper in the Milford mud. He can begin on Friday night into Saturday morning once Kettering has shut down Gil’s predictable old-school offense.

August 11, 2021

Oh, Calcutta?

I get the sense that Rubin tosses these summer plots out like a bone to his golfing buddies and the golfers among his readership. He lavishes much more detail about the game and its arcana than he does during the other three seasonal arcs. For football he’s content to trot out offensive formations not commonly used since the leatherhead era except in rural areas and/or where the game is played with less than 11 players a side. He latched onto the launch angle thing for Heather’s prodigy Pelwecki but otherwise hasn’t been on the cutting edge of baseball lingo. Basketball arcs tend to be more about the announcers and the players’ home lives than the details of the game. It’s always a shot at the buzzer that misses for Milford and falls for Milford’s opponents.

From the comments over the past couple of weeks, I gather a lot of faithful TWIMers are golfers. For the rest of us not in the know, here’s what I’ve learned about Calcuttas in the world of golf:

Golfers bid, auction style, on the golfer or team they think will win the tournament; typically they’re allowed to bid on themselves or their own team as well. They enter a bid on the golfer or team they think will win, and if their bid is the highest, they “bought” them in the tournament. All the money raised through the “auction” goes into the pot. At the end of the tournament, those who “won” the team that won the tournament get a predetermined payout from the auction pool.

We can drop the notion, then, that gambling is frowned upon at the MCC, but just exactly when and how it’s allowed and who is allowed to do it is up in the air. Jawor’s accusation of a 10-stroke sandbag by designated golf villain Carter Hendricks is a serious one – serious enough that he wants to keep Hendricks out of the Calcutta (and causes his ear to climb up his scalp). He doesn’t have the Titleists to to do it on his lonesome so he’s trying to enlist Gil to help him come up with an excuse. That neither the two of them nor Heather Burns have done a quick Googling of “Carter Hendricks BSU” to find out that the Cartman was a college golfer yet would end this plot in a day is irrelevant. Oh well, I’m sure Gil and Jawor will find a way to bar Hendricks, probably because of his ethnicity or religion or something. Country clubs still do that sort of thing, don’t they?

January 2, 2021

Ramspringa

The Rogers Rams jet to a ten-point lead and hold on to that double-digit lead for the rest of the first half, hitting the locker room up by two touchdowns and leaving the Milford Mudlarks mere shadows of themselves. Did the Rams come out hot, or did the Mudlarks come out cold? Does it really matter? Gil’s made his determination and is letting his boys have it with both barrels.

If Gil’s accusation is true, where do you think these kids learned about saving their best stuff for the conference schedule?

December 5, 2020

Gil’s Intrigued: The Rest of Us Are Bored

Geez, Marty, why so surprised? Have you killed so many brain cells with Johnnie Walker that you can’t remember Gil trotting out the Wing-T in 2007, also late in the season? (Hint: It was right after you called out Cully Vale as a convicted killer.) From the sound of it Milford may have practiced the Delaware offense but not so much with Leonard Fleming under center. Good thing New Thayer sucks this year.

Today’s strip has the feel of an arc-ender, what with Gil’s “wait ’til next year” spiel to Marjie and his fourth-wall-breaking, shit-eating grin in the final panel.* Gil’s counting on two things here: (a) No one reads the Milford Star (b) Chance Macy doesn’t get blowtop mad for a second straight season. He didn’t lose his cool this season; must have gotten some decent anger management training. Anna Corinna Karenina could stand similar to knock that chip off her shoulder.

Still the Mudlarks have to wrap up their season against traditional rival Valley Tech. Think Rubin will remember that?

*If this does end up being the last strip in the fall arc, I may come back for a metapost.

December 2, 2020

Another Day, Another One of Gil’s Problems Solved by Someone Else for Free

I KNEW IT

YOU KNEW IT

I KNEW IT

YOU KNEW IT

So Rubin wasted what, ten strips on this little confab? When he’ll peel off two or three games in a single strip?

No way these guys wouldn’t have bailed as soon as they saw there was no sex in the offing, or at the very least as soon as she started insulting them yet again. Oh, okay, let’s play along and pretend that these two lugs are kinda masochistic and they get off on chicks berating them. Why, then, when Corina completely insulted Thayer and Rapson, did they sit there like knots on a log and not say anything in return? How hard would it have been to just tell the truth:

THAYER: Well, you are the new girl, and we heard you transferred from the bad kids’ school, so we kinda thought you were easy.

RAPSON: Yeah, and I’m tired of playing second fiddle to Thayer so I didn’t want his sloppy seconds when it came to you. So we gonna do it or what?

THAYER: So your mom made these brownies? When does she get off work?

Honestly, the only thing that captured my attention in today’s strip is the door of Rapson’s car. That looks like a nearly perfectly drawn example of a Talbot mirror so I’m wondering exactly what kind of vintage iron he’s driving.

November 11, 2020

In Which Gil Thorp Finally Acknowledges the Existence of a Virus

No, not that virus, though you gotta admit that social distancing would be a plausible rationale for the seating arrangements in the Milford gym. Today we get a view into the inner workings of the Thorpian Stasi in action.

First, Gil walks in on the aftermath of Kaz shooting up on his desk instead of in what looks to be an Aeron chair but is probably a knockoff. How else do you explain that overdeveloped right arm with veins a-poppin’?

Then we catch Gil repeating the story with his chief informant Mimi. That Gil’s players had begun to show up to support Mimi’s team wasn’t enough for her; in her mind, they should have to do it as a unit. No place for players to sit with their friends on the team and to not sit with guys they wouldn’t hang with outside of football. Gil of course buys into that and decides he needs to get to the heart of the matter. How? Not by actually talking to the two guys who are actually at the heart of the matter, but to put two guys on the hot seat who have been the exact opposite of rivals for the past two seasons.

Finally we find out how Gil “squeezed” the intel out of Macy and Roh: via ungloved prostate exams with zero lube. Why is Gil so angry at these two? Did they not drop trou fast enough for him? Chance and Charlie aren’t the droids you’re looking for, Gilberto, and they’re not the ones who are taking sides in this controversy. EDIT: Alert TWIMer Downpuppy has pointed out that the pair getting reamed out by Gil in P3 are in fact the dueling quarterbacks Rappson and Thayer. Once Gil is finished with his unlubed prostate exams, these two will be singing Kumbayah (h/t hitorque) and playing rock paper scissors for first crack at Corinna. Does Gil know that these two have been actively recruiting teammates to take sides against each other? If not, this is Gil’s problem to solve, not the QBs. By calling them out of class and raking them over the coals, Gil will have sown fear, uncertainty and doubt among every Mudlark football player. That won’t win the Valley but it’ll keep the proles in line and, after all, that’s what the Thorps are all about.

October 12, 2020

Delaware Wing-T Time!

OMG! Gil has been toying with the Wing-T again, and not just any Wing-T, but the Delaware Wing-T! That’s a four back formation! But wait Gil, how could Terry improvise a radically different formation? The point is, he isn’t going to have the chance! Rapson is emergency-only, like that bottle of Rebel Yell Gil keeps in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet.

Terry seems determined to push the limit with Gil. Will Thayer’s star will rise and he’ll make everyone go to volleyball games.

October 10, 2020

Oh.

Time for everybody’s favorite game, Monday Morning Saturday Night Quarterback.

Previously on TWIM, the consensus was that Gil was completely in the right for punishing Rapson for ignoring his play calls not once, but twice. In fact, many TWIMers thought that this punishment is too light – that Rapson should see the bench permanently if not be kicked off the team altogether. Instead, Gil’s just giving him a bit more in the way of conditioning.

Gil’s laid out his reasons and they’re sound ones, but let’s play Marty Moon for a minute, though, and poke some holes in that Thorpian logic.

Going back to Tuesday, there was 2:49 left (very precise of Rubin, no?) in the fourth quarter after Rapp’s TD pass put the Mudlarks up 28-13. Thursday before last they were up 21-6 when Thayer muffed the exchange. The Ballard Bruins marched right down the field to make it an eight-point game, 21-13, sometime in the fourth. How much time was left in the game when Ballard scored? There must have been enough for them to believe they’d get the ball back at least once, hence not going for two.

The Milford offense goes back on the field with Rapson under center and directions to get “a couple of first downs, and then… head to The Bucket.” Why did Gil yank his starting QB with his team only up by one score? Nice vote of confidence there, Gildeaux; one miscue and you’re on the bench. As for the “ball security” angle, if you’ve been doing nothing but running the ball all night, doesn’t that make your offense extremely predictable? The Bruins could load up the box, stuff the run, get the ball back and march down the field on the Mudlark defense once again. We didn’t hear anything about that sieve.

First play, Rapson calls his audible and Dallas George’s number on an end-around (which is NOT the same thing as a reverse, Gil!). If Gil’s so quick on the trigger with his signal callers, why didn’t he bench Rapp right then and there? I get that you want to keep things vanilla in the non-conference part of your schedule, but does Gil really have only one trick play? The excuse that you’re saving your trick play for a conference game makes about as much sense as not putting miles on your car so you’ll get more money when it comes time to trade it in, or as not having sex with your wife so that there aren’t as many miles on her for her next husband. Did it ever dawn on him that he could still use that play as a decoy later in the season, for example faking the end-around and running a draw or play-action pass?

Let’s move on to the next play. The Mudlarks picked up a first down and ran some time off the clock. We only know in hindsight that there were probably more than three minutes left in the game. We have no idea where the line of scrimmage was when Rapson threw the pass, nor do we know how many timeouts each team had. Giving Gil a little credit for restating the obvious, Curtis Charles scores the touchdown because the Bruin defender slipped (and Curtis danced a little jig over his body). Why does Gil assume that the pass would’ve been incomplete or picked off if the defender hadn’t slipped? Look at P1 in that last linked strip. Charles is bigger and taller than the Ballard player and has gotten inside of him. Who’s to say Charles doesn’t make the catch and bull over the Bruin into the end zone? Even if he makes the catch and gets tackled immediately, it’s still another first down and time to start taking knees. Who’s to say if Charlie Roh had run it up the gut again, he wouldn’t have gotten stuffed or stripped of the ball? The play worked, but it might not have, and if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

So have at it in the comments, TWIMers. Let’s enjoy the pissiest of pissy Gil faces we’ve seen in some time and hope that smug look on his face doesn’t cause him to trip over that coffee mug he set down behind himself. Gil has made it clear he calls the shots, but what he doesn’t do is instill confidence in his players.

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